Development Review

  1. Email a PDF of the development review application, required submittal materials, and a scan of a $250 check for the ISD plan review fee to planning@somervillema.gov. Please name all digital files as “Street Name Street Number – Description.pdf”. For example, Elm St 1 – Drawings.pdf
  2. Either mail or drop off hard copies of the application, required submittal materials, and a $250 check for the ISD plan review fee in a sealed envelope. Please provide the live $250 check for the ISD plan review fee inside a smaller envelope inside your larger submittal package and provide the property address in the memo line of the check. Applications may either be dropped off in a drop box outside of City Hall near the School Street entrance (no larger than 16” x 11” x 8”) or mailed to the following address:

Planning & Zoning Application
City Hall
93 Highland Avenue
Somerville, MA 02143

Development review is a new process established by the Somerville Zoning Ordinance to document development activity happening in Somerville.

Almost all development activity must submit a Development Review Application (DRA) for Plan Review by the Inspectional Services Division (ISD). There are three (3) exceptions:

  1. Normal Maintenance
  2. Internal Demolition
  3. Roof-mounted Photovoltaic (PV) Devices 

Normal maintenance and internal demolition, as defined by the Somerville Zoning Ordinance, and the installation of roof mounted photovoltaic (PV) devices are not required to submit a DRA. 

Proposed development may or may not necessitate the need for Site Plan Approval, a Special Permit, or a Hardship Variance based on the nature of the proposal. In such cases, additional development review is required. Proposed development that is compliant with the Somerville Zoning Ordinance, or that has completed any additional development review that is necessary, is issued a Certificate of Zoning Compliance (CZC) to document those findings. 

Applications that require further development review are transferred to the Planning & Zoning Division and generally scheduled for a public hearing within sixty-five (65) days of receipt of a complete DRA submittal. Once the additional development review is properly completed, the application is transferred back to ISD and a Certificate of Zoning Compliance is issued to confirm that development plans are compliant with the Somerville Zoning Ordinance and that all development review procedures have been properly completed.

Development Review Applications (DRA)

To learn more about the application process and requirements for submittal materials, please review the appropriate application form below: 

Application Forms

Timeline

  • Per the SZO, a Certificate of Zoning Compliance is issued within 10 days of a complete Development Review Application submittal that does not require additional review.
  • Per MGL 40A and established MA case law, public hearings are generally scheduled within 65 days of a complete Development Review Application submittal that does require additional review. 

Other Documents

Learn More

Permitting Process Diagram